24 June 2013

Help us win historic EU vote

Local MP David Mowat is urging people from Warrington to help the Conservatives in their bid to secure the first EU referendum in 40 years.

This follows news that the Prime Minister has launched a new campaign website, www.letbritaindecide.com, which makes it simple for people to join the campaign to back the Bill about to go through Parliament, which will pave the way for a vote in 2017, after a full renegotiation."
David Mowat said:

"Britain deserves a vote. It's been nearly 40 years since the British people last had their say on Europe. People feel the EU is heading in a direction they don't want and didn't sign up to.

"That is why Conservatives want to give Britain a clear vote – in or out – before the end of 2017, after a full renegotiation of our terms of membership.

"A draft Bill to make this happen will soon be debated by MPs – but, crucially, it needs the support of other political parties to pass. Britain needs everyone to build public pressure on this. That's why we are launching LetBritainDecide.com today: to give people a voice. Please sign up today at http://www.letbritaindecide.com and make your voice heard."

19 June 2013

"Lexie's Law" Moves a Step Closer

Serving soldiers could have their DNA retained by the Ministry of Defence in future in a bid to prevent paternity disputes.

Responding to a question from Warrington South MP David Mowat, Prime Minister David Cameron promised to "convene a meeting with MOD Ministers about the action we can take to stop these problems happening in the future."

Last year Mr Mowat raised the case of Lexie-Mai Hickman Wade, whose father, the late Private Daniel Wade of 3rd Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment, was killed on active duty whilst serving in Lashkar Gar province in Afghanistan.

Because Pte Wade and Lexie's mother were not married, the MoD refused to release a sample of his DNA because it had not been collected for that purpose. That meant his name could not be on Lexie's birth certificate.

Mr Mowat urged the MoD to follow the US Army's example of routinely storing the DNA of serving soldiers to prevent further incidents.

David Mowat said:

"Sadly our brave servicemen and women sometimes have to make the ultimate sacrifice. Because they are usually young they often leave devastated families and relationships behind.

"Fortunately Lexie-Mai now knows who her father is and I was proud to attend her christening recently. Now we need a "Lexie's Law" to prevent other families from having to go through the same experience.

"I am pleased that the Prime Minister recognises the importance of this issue."

 14 June 2013

Diffusing the Pensions Time Bomb

This week the House of Commons began debating the Pensions Bill. This is a bold, ambitious and long overdue piece of legislation. The bill will reduce complexity and benefit many savers – particularly women. The reduction in means testing will, at last, create real incentives to save.

The elephant in the room that reamins is that even after the increase in State provision set out by the Bill there will be a requirement to supplement it with a private sector pension.The size of the median pot in the private sector is about £40,000 – enough for an inflation-proofed annuity of less than £2,000. People are not saving enough and far too much of what they are paying in is being lost in the highest charging structure in the OECD. The consequence is a pensions time bomb which is a direct result of a market failure in this industry......

Read the full article at telegraph.co.uk

13 June 2013

David Mowat: Labour would take £234 from 38,000 pensioners in Warrington

Research by local MP David Mowat has shown that Labour's plan to cut pensions would hit 38,010 pensioners in Warrington, many of whom depend on their Basic State Pension to pay their bills and put food on the table.

Labour have chosen to cap pensions rather than benefits, meaning the Basic State Pension would be £234 less per year by 2017/18.

David Mowat said:

"Now we know that when Labour say they would cut "welfare", what they really mean is they would choose to cut the Basic State Pension over capping benefits.

"This would take £234 a year away from over 38,000 pensioners in Warrington – people who have worked hard all their lives.

"This is about a simple choice: the Conservatives want to reward pensioners. Labour want to punish them."

7 June 2013

Latest Group of Graduates from Warrington Jobs Club

22 more people from Warrington have had their employment prospects boosted thanks to the Jobs Club founded by local MP David Mowat.

Since 2009, the Jobs Club has helped 200 people, with 80% returning to work or training within 6 months. Of the current group of graduates, 8 have found work and 9 have started their own businesses with help from local mentors.

Assisting David Mowat in awarding the certificates was Winning Pitch Chairman John Leach, whose Salford-based business was recently awarded the contract to deliver the GrowthAccelerator Programme in the north of England.

The GrowthAccelerator Programme is designed to help small and medium sized enterprises expand by offering specialist advice and access to sources of finance.

David Mowat said:

"I wish the latest group of Jobs Club graduates well. Many have already found work, more will do so soon and others have been inspired to start their own businesses.

"We must do all we can to defeat the scourge of unemployment."

Winning Pitch Chair John Leach added:

"I'm very impressed by what I've seen today. This group of people are determined to get back in to work and are taking positive steps to make that happen.

"I'm also impressed by the fledgling businesses that have been started by participants. Small businesses play a vital role in our economy and it is great to see people taking the initiative to set up on their own."

3 June 2013

Conservatives will save you up to £158 on your utility bills. Labour will cost you £61

Today's Energy Bill will save families in Warrington up to £158 on their utility bills, by helping people to switch to the cheapest tariff. The most vulnerable households will see the greatest benefit. This is on top of the £64 average saving that householders in Warrington have already seen so far, compared to Labour's plans.

By contrast, Labour's planned scheme for utilities would mean an immediate rise in bills of £61 on average. This is likely to be a minimum figure, as Ed Miliband also wants to reorganise the utilities market, to force energy to be "pooled" for auction. This idea was abandoned by the Blair Government because it drove up energy bills. Ed Miliband wants to see this scheme return, in addition to his planned £61 raid on your wallet, and Labour's unfunded commitment to rebrand the Ofgem regulator.

Local MP David Mowat said:

"The cost of living is the number one issue for people I talk to in Warrington. That's why today's Energy Bill matters. The choice today is saving up to £158 with the Conservatives, or paying £61 more under Labour."

Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker MP, said:

"Today's Energy Bill will put cash back in your pocket. Hardworking families in Warrington will be able to save up to £158, by switching to the cheapest energy tariff, which our plans will give everyone the chance to do.

"Already, as a result of our policies, people are paying 5 per cent less on their gas and electricity bills than they would otherwise be.

"You can't trust Labour with your money. On Ed Miliband's watch, electricity got 50 per cent more expensive and we saw the proliferation of a bewildering number of energy tariffs. The Labour leader just doesn't get it. It's the same old Labour Party."

7 May 2013

Local MP David Mowat welcomes new prison regime

Local MP David Mowat has welcomed news that prisoners across England and Wales will in future need to make real progress towards their own rehabilitation and work hard in prison before they can receive privileges, like access to television sets and being able to wear their own clothes.

  • Under the new policy, the mere absence of bad behaviour will not be enough to earn perks, as is the case at the moment. Other changes include:

All convicted adult male prisoners will have to wear prison uniform whilst on the new Entry-level in prisons.

In-cell television sets will not be provided for prisoners on basic level and no prisoner should be allowed to watch television when he should be working or engaging in purposeful activity.

Prison regimes will change so that convicted prisoners will work a longer day and bad behaviour will lead to a downgrade in status.

Welcoming the new measures, David Mowat said:

'Like many local people in Warrington, I think our prisons should be places of hard work and serious rehabilitation. Any privileges that convicted criminals receive should be hard-earned, and be rewards for taking real steps towards rehabilitation and reform. They certainly should not come as a right.

'Conservatives are on the side of people who work hard and do the right thing. These tough and sensible reforms show that our prisons are becoming places of serious rehabilitation and reform. That way we can break the cycle of reoffending and make our streets and communities safer.'

Conservative Justice Secretary Chris Grayling MP said:

'It is not right that some prisoners appear to be spending hours languishing in their cells and watching daytime television while the rest of the country goes out to work.

'For too long, there has been an expectation that privileges are an automatic right, given simply as a reward for staying out of trouble. This cannot continue. Prisoners need to earn privileges, not simply through the avoidance of bad behaviour but also by working, taking part in education or accepting the opportunities to rehabilitate themselves.

'We have reviewed the scheme fully, and I believe it is now something the public can have confidence in. Only by tackling bad behaviour and taking part in education or work programmes as well as addressing any alcohol or drug issues can we cut reoffending.'

8 April 2013

Government triples Prompt Payment pledges in drive to support small businesses

Local MP David Mowat has today welcomed the news that in just four months the number of FTSE 350 firms signing up to the Prompt Payment Code has tripled. There are now 126 FTSE 350 firms signed up to the code, with 94 new firms since November last year. Three quarters of FTSE 100 companies have signed, or are in the process of signing, the Code

The news has been welcomed by business groups, including the Federation of Small Businesses and the Forum of Private Business.

The Prompt Payment Code is a code of conduct which commits signatories to pay suppliers on time, give clear guidance to suppliers and to encourage good practice. Business Minister Michael Fallon wrote to big businesses in November urging them to sign up to the Prompt Payment Code or be named publicly.

David Mowat commented:

"This is great news for small businesses, both in Warrington and beyond. Small business owners constantly tell me how vital prompt payment is – and this committed drive from Conservatives in Government will deliver long-term benefit for businesses up and down the country".

Michael Fallon, Business Minister, commented:

"Late payment is a real issue for businesses across the country. It is not fair – poor cash flow can prevent small firms growing and even push them into insolvency. We need to improve the payment culture and I welcome the response of big businesses in signing up to the common sense principles in the Prompt Payment Code.

"But the work will not stop here. I will keep up pressure on firms to sign up and continue to ensure government leads by example in paying its suppliers on time. Central government has a good record. Now, I will be challenging other parts of the public sector to show their commitment to the principles of the Code".

2 April 2013

Jobs Club 8 to Begin Next Week

The Eighth season of David Mowat's hugely successful Jobs Club is due to begin on Saturday 6th April.

Founded in 2009 by local MP David Mowat, the Jobs Club has already helped 200 local people find work or to start their own business.

The parallel Enterprise Club, assisting people to start their own businesses, will also return after its highly successful introduction last year. New local businesses including Appleton Baby Massage and Find Your Dream were founded last year with help from the Enterprise Club.

David Mowat said:

"In Warrington we have seen a 7% fall in unemployment in the last twelve months and a 10% drop in youth unemployment. That is a start, but there is much more to do.

"The Office for Budget Responsibility predicts that an additional 100,000 jobs will be created this year and schemes like this will make sure Warrington gets a slice of that action."

26 March 2013

MP Congratulates Local Business

Local MP David Mowat has congratulated Hall's Rainsaver on being recognised as a leading local businesses by being shortlisted in a Newspaper Society competition. The Local Business Accelerators competition is looking for the most promising small businesses in the country, with a national winner being announced in October. Hall's Rainsaver sells guttering which can be attached to a variety of different buildings without the need for nails, screws or adhesives, allowing the owner to save rain water.

The competition is supported by Business in You, a Government initiative to help new and innovative businesses. The Business in You website (www.businessinyou.bis.gov.uk) contains a range of practical information and directions to other sources of help.

The competition's winner will receive a year's mentoring from Dragon's Den star Deborah Meaden and other prizes including free advertising in their local newspaper, £10,000 from the Business Growth Fund, a year's membership of the CBI, business advice from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, broadband and a website from BT, and an iPad and a year's access to software from Freeagent.

David Mowat said, "I am delighted to see the success of Hall's Rainsaver. Small businesses play a vital role in our economy and in local communities. I very much hope that the Local Business Accelerators competition and the accomplishments of Hall's Rainsaver will help to inspire other people to start their own business in Warrington South or to grow one they are running already."

Business Minister Michael Fallon said, "The Government is committed to helping small businesses get on and succeed so they can continue to contribute to the growth we need. We want businesses to take advantage of the wealth of information and support that is available to them through Business in You so they can take the necessary steps towards securing themselves a bright future. Through the LBA competition these successful local businesses will set a great example to their peers."

20 March 2013

PM Praises "Incredible Bravery" of Warrington

Prime Minister David Cameron has praised the response of the town of Warrington to the IRA bomb which ripped through Bridge Street in 1993.

Warrington South MP David Mowat rose at Prime Minister's Questions to highlight the response of the people of Warrington and Colin & Wendy Parry in particular to the bombing.

Mr Mowat praised their "tireless campaign for peace over the last 2 decades. In particular, for their establishment of the Foundation for Peace, turning personal tragedy into pragmatic support for hundreds in conflicts across the world."

Responding, the Prime Minister also paid tribute to the work done by the Parrys:

"When someone suffers such a tragedy, it must be so much easier to try and put it behind them and forget about it, but to go on and campaign for peace and to bring together the people of Warrington as they have done shows enormous character and fortitude. They have the backing of the whole country."

19 March 2013

Record number of apprenticeships in Warrington

Local MP David Mowat has today welcomed new statistics that show a record number of people in Warrington started apprenticeship in 2011/12. The data also has provisional results for the number of apprenticeship starts in the first quarter of 2012/13 – in August to October 2012 610 people in Warrington started apprenticeships in just three months.

In the last financial year, 2,870 people started an apprenticeship in Warrington – an increase of 52% per cent compared to the last year of the Labour Government.

David Mowat commented:

"We will only succeed as a country when everyone is given the chance to reach their full potential. We have dramatically increased the number of apprenticeships on offer compared to the last Labour Government.

"These record levels of apprenticeships are fantastic news for our country, for Warrington, and most of all for the people whose lives are being transformed by the opportunities they offer."

12 March 2013

Stop profiteering in the Pensions Industry

WARRINGTON South MP David Mowat urged government action to protect private pensions, pointing to the high margins generated by annuity providers.

"That comes as no surprise given the complete market failure that has occurred in large parts of the private pension industry," he said.

And he called on ministers to consider imposing "a uniform product structure—as has been done in energy—and enforcing legally the open market option."

Pensions minister Steve Webb replied that Mr Mowat had "a good track record of challenging the issue of charges and value for money."

The Association of British Insurers has just published its code of practice, to which members have to sign up, to ensure that instead of people just defaulting to the provider they save with, they shop around.

Mr Webb added: "We will monitor closely whether that makes the market more effective."

4 March 2013

Cut the Top Brass – not the Ordinary Ranks

Local MP David Mowat demanded that army manpower cuts are spread fairly across all ranks. He pointed out that since 1990, the army has been reduced by about 40%, but officer numbers are down by less than 30%.

"Indeed, there are more colonels now than there were then," he said.

At a recent Defence Questions, he asked defence minister Andrew Robathan: "Is there more that we can do to ensure that the cuts are proportionate?"

Mr Robathan replied: "We are committed to reducing—and, indeed, are reducing— the star count in the ministry of defence by 25%, which means those with the rank of brigadier and above.

"It is true that the number of colonels is higher than in 1990, but it has fallen by 80 since 1 April 2010, and some of the jobs that those officers do are specific to NATO or to defence engagements. For instance, some are defence attachés.

"We need all those jobs, and that is why we employ those people. However, my hon. Friend has raised a very good point."

Mr Mowat has previously pressed ministers on army accommodation, family benefits and pub bans on soldiers returning from Afghanistan, earning the title of "the squaddies' champion" on some internal Army chatrooms.

25 February 2013

Boost in mentors to support Warrington businesses

Local MP David Mowat has this week welcomed the news that the Government has achieved its target of 15,000 business mentors. This includes 221 in Cheshire & Warrington.

The volunteer mentors have been recruited and trained as part of the £1.9 million government-funded Get Mentoring project. This has been delivered by the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative.

David Mowat commented:

"This is great news for small businesses, entrepreneurs and everyone thinking about setting up on their own here in Warrington. Mentors offer businesses and entrepreneurs the support they can need to take the next step – helping them to start up, grow and create jobs."

Michael Fallon, Business Minister, commented:

"Small businesses are vital to our economy and we are determined to help them get on and succeed. We have invested in mentoring because we know that good mentors can provide the practical advice and support that an entrepreneur needs to take their business idea to the next level. They have been there and done it and can pass that experience on. I want to encourage people to come forward and take advantage of the mentoring network."

Find out more by visiting www.mentorsme.co.uk

18 February 2013

David Mowat MP: Law change will protect vulnerable people from aggressive bailiffs

Local MP David Mowat has welcomed the news that the law will be changed to give vulnerable people stronger protection from aggressive bailiffs.

Under new laws to clean up the industry, bailiffs will be banned from entering homes when only children are present and at night. New safeguards will prevent bailiffs from using force against people who owe money and they will also no longer have free reign to fix their own fees, as new set costs are brought in.

Until now there has been insufficient legal protection against aggressive bailiffs. These new laws, and a mandatory training and certification scheme which they must pass before going into business, will change that. Businesses will still be able to collect debts fairly, but bailiffs who do not follow the rules will be barred from the industry.

Commenting, Warrington South MP David Mowat said:

'At the moment there is very little to stop unscrupulous bailiffs from abusing their position and making life a misery for vulnerable people here in Warrington. It is terribly stressful to find yourself in debt and the last thing people in that situation need is harassment from debt collectors.

'We need a system which allows the majority of responsible bailiffs to get on with doing their jobs fairly, but which stops abuse and gives real protection. That is exactly what these changes will create.'

Conservative Justice Minister Helen Grant MP said:

'For too long bailiffs have gone unregulated, allowing a small minority to give the industry a bad name. Too many people in debt have had the additional stress of dealing with aggressive bailiffs who often charge extortionate fees.

'These new laws will clean up the industry and ensure bailiffs play by the rules or face being prevented from practising. They will also make sure businesses and public bodies can collect their debts fairly.'

11 February 2013

Warrington Jobs Fair a Sucess

Over 650 people attended a Jobs Fair on Friday at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, sponsored by Warrington South MP, David Mowat.

26 organisations, ranging from Warrington Borough Council to United Utilities were on hand to offer careers advice and to spot talented people. A number of seminars throughout the day helped people with interview techniques an advice on apprenticeships

Feedback from both jobhunters and employers was positive and suggested that a dozen positions were offered on the spot, with a further 238 people given follow-up appointments.

David Mowat said:

"I am grateful to everyone who came along and made this event a success.

"I hope that all those people who turned up were able to get something out of it, whether it be a job offer, a follow-up appointment or just a useful piece of advice that will help them with future applications."

4 February 2013

David Mowat: £350 million cash boost for growth

David Mowat, MP for Warrington South, has welcomed the opening of the next round of Regional Growth Fund applications. £350 million has been made available from the Fund to help companies grow.

This is the fourth round of funding, bringing the total amount to £2.6 billion.

The first three rounds of funding have already had a huge effect, with £382 million invested in the North West from the fund, supporting 57,408 jobs.

David Mowat commented:

'I want to encourage all companies in Warrington to take advantage of this next round of investment from the Regional Growth Fund. This £350 million of investment will help businesses grow and could support thousands of new jobs in the North West.'

'This fund is part of the Government's relentless drive to support economic growth across the country and rebalance the economy. This is in addition to boosting investment in apprenticeships, making it easier to create new businesses, cutting regulation and encouraging existing firms to export.'

28 January 2013

Statement on HS2

Commenting on the announcement of the HS2 route through Warrington, David Mowat said

"Warrington will benefit from regional regeneration estimated to be worth several billion to the North West, but also because trains will run from Bank Quay to London over 20 minutes faster than at present – with further reductions when the project is completed. A station at Manchester Airport will be 59 minutes from Central London.

"The benefits of HS2 are stronger than those for Crossrail and there is a real danger that, if this project collapses, the money will be spent on yet another project to benefit commuters in London and the South East.

"Warrington will benefit from HS2, as will the whole of the Northwest and so we cannot allow the project to be derailed by nimbys in London and the Home Counties."

The full route map is here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69065/hs2-msg-mr0-zz-dr-rt-71201.pdf

If you live in a property close to the route, you can find details of the Exceptional Hardship Scheme Consultation here:
http://www.hs2.org.uk/have-your-say/consultations/phase-two/exceptional-hardship-scheme

15 January 2013

Prison Proposal Should be "A Non-Starter"

David Mowat, MP for Warrington South has hit out at rumours suggesting that the Government could be set to revive plans to build a new "super prison" on the Omega site in Warrington.

The previous Labour Government planned to put a 2,500 place prison on the site –earmarked for business development – but had to drop it in the face of strong local opposition from Mr Mowat and Liberal Democrat councillors.

Now, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has announced that he is looking for sites for a new 2,000 place prison in either London, the North West or Wales, sparking fears amongst local people that Omega could be considered once more.

David Mowat said:

"This proposal should be an absolute non-starter.

"Labour wanted to put 2,500 hardened criminals a matter of metres from a large residential area, saying it would bring "an economic benefit". It was only because Conservatives and Liberal Democrats worked together with local residents that they were forced to back down.

"It was wrong then and it is wrong now. That site has been specifically earmarked to create jobs for Warrington and I will be seeking an urgent meeting with Chris Grayling to get him to change his mind."

11 January 2013

Helping Households with their Council Tax Bill

David Mowat, MP for Warrington South, has welcomed Government moves to help households bring down their monthly bills by spreading council tax payments over 12 months, rather than 10.

This move will lower average band D council tax instalments by an average of £24 per month for 10 months, particularly helping those on fixed incomes, like pensioners.

The new right to choose to pay in 12 monthly instalments comes into effect from April. Local taxpayers just need to contact their council (the local billing authority) to request the change. No household will be forced to change their payment plan and those who wish to continue to pay in 10 instalments may do so.

This latest move shows that Conservatives in Government are doing all they can to keep council tax bills down for people who work hard and want to get on in life.

It comes on top of central Government funding to freeze council tax for the third consecutive year, the introduction of local referendums to veto high council tax hikes and the scrapping of Labour's expensive council tax revaluation.

Commenting David Mowat said:

'Here in Warrington, council tax almost doubled under Labour. Conservatives in Government have shown that they will do all they can to keep council tax bills down for families and pensioners. For the third year running the Government are offering to freeze council tax, which would benefit local people if taken up by Warrington Borough Council.

'Residents in Warrington have already saved £134 on a Band D bill thanks to Conservatives in Government freezing council tax. By making it possible for taxpayers to pay over 12 months rather than 10, households will be able to bring down their monthly outgoings and have more control over when they pay their bills. I urge any household who would benefit from this change to exercise their new right.'

7 January 2013

Boost for Young Entreprenuers

WARRINGTON South MP David Mowat welcomed the government's £30 million boost for start-up loans for young entrepreneurs.

He said: "This is excellent news for would-be entrepreneurs bidding to be the next Richard Branson or Hillary Devey.

"The Government is determined to invest in the next generation of businessmen and women who will help our economy grow and create jobs."

The extra cash for 24 to 30-year-olds was unveiled in the North West today by Premier David Cameron. The money brings to £110 million the amount available under the scheme, which has already invested £1.8 million in getting young firms off the ground.

Mr Cameron said: "Start-Up loans are an important part of my mission to back aspiration, and all those young people who want to work hard and get on in life, so this country competes and thrives in the global race.

"They are a great way to help this next generation of entrepreneurs get the financial help - and the confidence - to turn that spark of an idea, into a growing, thriving business.

"It is by backing our entrepreneurs and championing small business that we can drive forward and grow the economy, and equip this country for the highly competitive era we are in."

Over 3000 people have applied or registered an interest in a Start-Up loan which gives budding entrepreneurs support and mentoring to develop their ideas.

When the business plan is robust and approved, they will be able to access financial support in the form of a low interest loan typically in the order of £2,500 with a repayment period of up to five years.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: "The Government is determined to back young people who aspire to get on in business and create jobs. The Start-Up Loan scheme has been very popular and the extra investment will help to meet the demand for this kind of assistance.

"Making this support available to a wider age group will encourage even more young people to be entrepreneurial. It gives them access to experienced mentors who can offer knowledge and expertise about how to run a successful enterprise. I hope to see a whole new wave of entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground."

 

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